Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana will indeed return for all the upcoming "Avatar" sequels. While it's to be expected, the confirmation didn't come until The Hollywood Reporter announced the two stars had finalized deals to reprise their roles as Jake Sully and Princess Neytiri respectively.
The first star signed on for the three sequels is Stephen Lang. He is confirmed to return as the evil Marine Colonel Quaritch. "I'm not going to say exactly how we're bringing him back, but it's a science fiction story, after all. His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga," said director James Cameron.
All the three movies will be filmed in New Zealand. They will be made back to back with a combined budget of an estimated $NZ500 million ($US415 million) on live action and visual effects. "Avatar 2" is due December 2016 with, "Avatar 3" is scheduled for December 2017, and "Avatar 4" is planned for 2018.
Josh Friedman is tapped to pen the second film, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver are hired to prove the script for the third one, and Shane Salerno is to write the fourth entry.
Of his decision to expand "Avatar" into three more movies instead of just two to make it a trilogy, Cameron told Collider, "I've come to realize that Avatar's world, story and characters have become even richer than I anticipated. It became apparent that two films would not be enough to capture everything I wanted to put on screen."